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Astros jump Wheeler early, even World Series with Phillies

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HOUSTON (AP) -- Kyle Schwarber stayed near home plate after he had already rounded the bases on what was initially ruled a fair ball. He was about to get another swing, and the slugger launched a long drive again.

Neither of those meaty cuts in the eighth inning — which sent balls a total of 756 feet — resulted in a much-needed homer for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the World Series as they tried to overcome another five-run deficit.

The Phillies will go home even in the World Series after their 5-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

With a runner at first and no outs, Schwarber pulled reliever Rafael Montero's 96 mph fastball down the right-field line, a towering shot near the pole. After some initial confusion, right field umpire James Hoye appeared to signal fair ball, and the Phillies leadoff hitter trotted around the bases.

The six umpires then came together to discuss the play. They went to a replay review, which showed the ball hooked just foul — just as Astros fans in that corner had been signaling since the 2-2 pitch soared 403 feet.

When Schwarber got back in the box, he got another 96 mph fastball. He hit another deep shot, this one 353 feet and caught by right fielder Kyle Tucker with his back against the wall.

Pinch-hitter Bryson Stott started the eighth by drawing a walk, the fourth inning a row the Phillies got their leadoff runner on base. Only one of them scored.

The Phillies didn't have two runners on base at the same time until the sixth, after Schwarber walked and Rhys Hoskins hit a single. They were then in the perfect part of their batting order to start another big comeback.

Except J.T. Realmuto, whose 10th-inning homer in Game 1 was the difference in a 6-5 win, swung and missed at a 96 mph heater from Astros starter Framber Valdez. Cleanup hitter Bryce Harper grounded into an inning-ending double play on the next pitch.

The Astros also turned a double play in the fifth after a leadoff single.

Nick Castellanos had a leadoff double in the seventh, and scored Philadelphia's first run on a sacrifice fly by Jean Segura right after Valdez came out of the game.

Phillies ace Zack Wheeler was quickly doubled up in his first World Series start. He allowed three doubles on the first four pitches he threw.

The right-hander began the postseason with 11 1/3 scoreless innings and pitched in two Philadelphia wins during the NL Championship Series against San Diego. But he struggled against the Astros, who weren't going to blow a 5-0 lead for the second night in a row.

Wheeler gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits over five innings. He struck out three and walked three.

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